Every year, clothes manufacturing releases 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases, one truckload of clothing is either sent to landfills or burned every second, and only 1% of clothing is recycled into new pieces. Last year, the number of internet searches for ‘sustainable fashion’ tripled compared to those of 2016 – a simple, yet effective indication of our hyper-awareness of the global environmental issues we face and, more specifically, how our consumption and the brands we support directly affects it.
Today, we’re drawn to more than just the clothes: we want to know about the entire supply chain, production processes, and product afterlife. With mounting industry pressure from organisations and consumers for transparency in their ethical practices and environmental impact, we now know that it’s actually possible for fashion and sustainability not only to co-exist, but to thrive. In light of this, forward-thinking, technologically progressive, and sustainable brands are emerging. That’s where UK-based fashion brand Pangaia comes in – pioneers of making clothes a new, more ethical way.
Pangaia launched in 2018 and rather than claiming to be a fashion house, they’re choosing to identify as ‘a materials science company on a mission to save our environment.’ They care about ‘every stitch’ and work hard to ensure that each part of their supply chain is ethical. They’re also taking their sustainability up a notch higher: they have their own circular fashion system that works with both upcycled and recycled materials, including those made from bio-based and post-consumer recycled materials, plastic bottles, seaweed fibre, and more. One of their goals is to make sure that their materials are eventually 100% sustainable. On the production side of things, they take the time to find the best ethically run factories around Europe, who are adept in taking on manufacturing using bio and lab-grown materials as well as recycled and sustainable fabrics.
Visually, everything about Pangaia’s style is bright, yet minimal, delivering simple pieces that are beautifully made, on-trend, and, to many, more valuable than just any piece, given the company’s extensive efforts in becoming 100% recyclable. Their range extends to the whole family, including pieces for men, women, and children. The focal point of their aesthetic is block-coloured staple pieces, such as tracksuits, hoodies, pants, shorts, t-shirts, and hats. You’ll also notice that the Pangaia trademark, a signature stamp print, is marked on every piece and references the exact process that was implemented to create it. So, with Pangaia, you can wear your sustainability on your sleeve (or your shirt, or shorts, or whichever piece you buy!).
When it comes to any type of ethically manufactured goods or services these days, it’s more than likely that the price is going to be on the premium end of the spectrum. But according to Pangaia, that’s the only real cost of creating clothes that are so environmentally friendly:
Our ultimate goal is to show others a way forward, so they become more widespread. This will build scale and drive down costs across the industry, make sustainable innovation the norm rather than the exception.
So, in the scheme of things, it’s an increasingly crucial factor for brands to consider their environmental footprint, rather than using it as a “bonus”. Hopefully, emerging brands like Pangaia can continue to lead the way for existing fashion houses. As consumers, we need to focus our attention on what fashion is accomplishing away from the runways, paying as much attention to how successfully they are engaging in their sustainability as we do for their aesthetics.
For a more in-depth look at sustainability in the fashion industry, read our overview feature here.
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